Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, has a cloudy appearance thanks to its atmosphere containing gaseous nitrogen and hydrocarbons.
Beneath the atmosphere is a crust of frozen water dotted with lakes and seas of liquid hydrocarbons. Methane and ethane rain from the sky.
Though it may sound inhospitable, scientists believer that it may contain the necessary ingredients for life – if not on the surface then in the watery ocean that is believe to lie deep beneath the icy crust.
New research published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters suggests that conditions on Titan’s seas of liquid methane may be relatively serene – there are waves, but they are only about a centimetre high – which makes the seas an ideal place to land some future exploratory probe.
Curated content from the editorial staff at Cosmos Magazine.
Read science facts, not fiction...
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.